Senior managers of Lloyd's Register were now confident that their scarce IT resources were being deployed to deliver to their agenda in a near optimal way - and the development of the competence and capability of IT was closely aligned to the needs of the organisation.
CITI were engaged to review the performance of the IT project management office (PMO). The Board were aware that the governance functions were not being exercised with sufficient rigour and believed that decision-making and portfolio choices were being made on an inadequate set of project performance data. The critical question that needed to be answered was, "What was the best set of projects given the resources (particularly IT resources) available?"
Approach to solution
The PMO was struggling to identify and monitor information that would aid decision-making, particularly in support of reducing resource conflicts caused by prioritisation issues between the projects.
The set of projects being monitored by the PMO were analysed and grouped by three distinct characteristics: business driver - enhancement, maintenance, or strategic; size and complexity - work packages, small projects, interlinked initiatives; and source - infrastructure, internal customer, external problem, which allowed for a much clearer allocation of governance functions and structures to be made.
This approach clearly identified two fundamentally different portfolios. Each had different monitoring requirements and required different governance structures to make the important decisions.
Workshops were conducted to engage the stakeholders, and to gain commitment to the change in management behaviours required. The Head of the PMO and her staff were profiled, as was the PMO in terms of functions, and a roadmap drawn up to align the capability of the personnel with demands being made on the newly structured PMO by the management of the two portfolios.
'One size doesn't fit all'. Attempting to prioritise in the absence of good information, and when the projects being ranked have no agreed basis of comparison leads to a loss of control over the portfolio, and deeply discontented stakeholders.
Models / tools used
Portfolio analysis techniques
Benefit - impact- product mapping
PMO maturation model
"The classic training model, taking individuals out of the business to sit in a classroom for a week at a time, was not going to work for us. But at the same time, we knew we needed to raise our game in managing change. I have to say, your people are brilliant!"
Head of business change, Legal & General